Conscious Collection by H&M

Is the ‘Conscious Collection’ by H&M conscious, or is it misleading?


As the biggest retail fashion brand in the world, H&M needs to show the way for the future and to take leadership. H&M’s original vision was to sell affordable fashion in new and different ways, and for the past few years, it seems that the management is going back to its old roots. By launching the recycled ‘Conscious Collection’, H&M wants their customers to look good on the outside, and to feel good on the inside. The idea and concept is great, but the above question remains the same: Is it conscious, or is it misleading?

H&M was probably in good faith when they launched the greener and more sustainable ‘Conscious Collection’. They were also humble enough to admit that making the fashion industry greener, was a big challenge they could not solve alone. H&M would need assistance and help from all their stakeholders throughout the supply chain to make it happen. This sounds, of course, like a great and noble thing to do, but as a private entity who is in the business to maximize profit, some external people and organizations don’t buy into the big idea and glossy collection campaign.

The various external stakeholders are having a mixed say about the Conscious Collection and the Recycling Week of H&M. The renowned media company, Bloomberg, is calling the campaign a ‘smart bit of marketing’. From the guys at Wall Street looking at the stock pricing, it is great news, with an option to either buy or sell their shares with maximized profit. On the other hand, Greenpeace, is calling the Recycling week a ‘week of illusion’, which is very bad news for everyone who wants a greener and more sustainable future. The questions that come up are; who is right, and whom should the customers believe? Fact is, this is a complex matter, and there is probably something between black and white. Another known fact; nothing happens unless someone starts. H&M has taken the bold move of trying to change the second biggest industry in the world. The motive is of course to sell more and to maximize the EPS, but that is how the world is. It should be legal to act green and to maximize profit. The other option is not as good, and the industry has something to learn from H&M. On the other hand, H&M needs an ecosystem to reduce their footprint as they double their store print. Collaborations with external stakeholders as WWF or Greenpeace are challenging, making partnerships for a better and greener tomorrow should cross boundaries.

Is H&M misleading customers with all its talk of sustainability?
Interbrand Ranking – Fashion Best Retail Brands 2014

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